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The International Tchaikovsky Competition

Official website

The International Tchaikovsky Competition is held every four years and is one of the largest events in the world of classical music.

Founders of the competition are the Government of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

The idea to establish a competition of musicians named in honor of Tchaikovsky appeared in 1939 during the preparation of a plan of events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the composer, which was celebrated in 1940. The idea was not implemented as the Great Patriotic War started in 1941. In the summer of 1956, 11 years after the victory, the Government of the USSR made a decision to hold an International Competition named in the honor of P.I. Tchaikovsky. The first Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Competition was the brilliant Russian composer Dmitriy Shostakovich.

The first Competition was held in the categories of Piano and Violin (1958). It was especially remembered for the victory of the American pianist Van Cliburn. The categories of Cello and Vocal were introduced starting from the second Competition (1962) and the third Competition (1966) respectively.

The XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition was first held in Moscow and Saint Petersburg (2011).

The XV anniversary International Tchaikovsky Competition was dedicated to the 175th anniversary of the great Russian composer (2015).

At the XVI International Tchaikovsky Competition held in June 17-29, 2019 in Moscow and Saint Petersburg two more categories were added, Woodwind Instruments and Brass Winds.

During its existence, the Competition has opened to the world outstanding representatives of performing art. The artistic traditions laid down by musicians of the older generation, such as Dmitriy Shostakovich, David Oistrakh, Emil Gilels, Mstislav Rostropovich, Heinrich Neuhaus, allowed a lot of talented creative young people to gain worldwide fame. Among them are pianists Van Cliburn, Vladimir Ashkenazi, Vladimir Krainev, Grigoriy Sokolov, John Lill, Mikhail Pletnev, Peter Donohoe, Barry Douglas, Denis Matsuev, Daniil Trifonov; violinists Viktor Tretyakov, Gidon Kremer, Vladimir Spivakov, Mayuko Kamio, Viktoria Mullova, Sergey Dogadin; cellists Nataniel Rozen, Natalia Gutman, David Geringas, Antonio Menezes, Mario Brunello, Denis Shapovalov, Narek Akhnazaryan, Andrey Ionitsa, Zlatomir Fang; singers Evgeniy Nesterenko, Vladimir Atlantov, Paata Burchuladze, Mikhail Kazakov, Elena Obraztsova, Tamara Sinyavskaya, Debora Voigt, Hibla Gerzmava, Albina Shagimuratova, and many others.

Over the years, many famous composers and icons of performing art were among the organizers and the jury, such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Daniil Shafran, Grigoriy Pyatigorskiy, Gaspar Cassado, Nadia Boulanger, Maurice Marechal, Joseph Szigeti, Pierre Fournier, Maria Callas, Mario del Monaco, Sergey Lemeshev, Irina Arkhipova. Valeriy Gergiev has been a co-chairman of the Tchaikovsky Competition since 2011.

The Competition is also inextricably linked to the P.I. Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory. Performances in each category as well as award ceremonies and concerts of award winners are held at the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.

For young talented musicians, victory in the Tchaikovsky Competition is the highest acknowledgement of their performance skills that can start their further professional career and lead to a big success.